Roe v. Wade: The Abortion Rights Controversy in American History / Edition 1

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Overview

Few Supreme Court decisions have stirred up as much controversy, vitriolic debate, and even violence as the one delivered in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Four decades later, it remains a touchstone for the culture wars in the United States and a pivot upon which much of our politics turns. With that in mind Peter Charles Hoffer and N. E. H. Hull have now taken stock of the abortion debates, controversies, and cases that have emerged during the past decade in order to update their best-selling book on this landmark case.

Like the original edition, the new one highlights the abortion issue's historical background; highlights Roe v. Wade's core issues, essential personalities, and key precedents; tracks the case's path through the courts; clarifies the jurisprudence behind the court's ruling in Roe; and gauges its impact on American society and subsequent challenges to it in Webster v. Reproductive Services (1989) and Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992). The new edition, however, adds two completely new chapters covering abortion politics and legal battles in the post-9/11 era, along with a new preface and a much-revised epilogue and conclusion.

The new material covers, among other things, the surprising results from recent public opinion polls; the impact of the presidential elections of George W. Bush and Barack Obama; Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, and Sonia Sotomayor; two major 5-4 Supreme Court decisions—Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood and Gonzales v. Carhart—that confirmed the constitutionality of the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act"; the murder of abortion provider George Tiller by Scott Roeder and the latter's trial and conviction; and the appearance of the abortion issue in the debate over health care reform legislation.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
Skillfully marshals an impressive amount of material from social history, legal history, and politics.
Law and Politics Book Review
Takes an evenhanded approach to abortion without advocating a policy position or preaching the moral implications of either side.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

N. E. H. Hull is Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University-Camden and the author and coauthor of more than a half dozen books including Roscoe Pound and Karl Llewellyn: Searching for an American Jurisprudence. Peter Charles Hoffer is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Georgia and the author and coauthor of more than a dozen books, including A Nation of Laws: America's Imperfect Pursuit of Justice.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised Edition ix

Editors' Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

1 Abortion Becomes a Crime, 1800-1900 11

2 Abortion and Birth Control, 1900-1965 49

3 From Repression to Reform, the Road to Roe, 1960-1970 89

4 The Decision in Roe, 1971-1973 135

5 Roe Under Siege, 1973-1988 180

6 The Two Roes, 1989-1992 225

7 Roe in the Clinton Years, 1993-2000 259

8 The Abortion Rights Controversy in the Bush Era 272

9 The Roberts Court Confronts Abortion 294

Epilogue: Choices-The Election of 2008 and Beyond 321

Conclusion: The Never-Ending Story 334

Chronology 341

Bibliographical Essay 347

Index 359

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2005

    Is it murder or is it a right?

    One of the many contreversial Supreme court cases in US history is the case Roe v Wade. Norma McCourvey was a 23 year old pregnant divorced women whom wanted to terminate her pregnancy. The only obstacle was that she lived in the state of Texas. In the state of Texas abortion was only llegal if the womens life depended on it. She hired two female attorneys whom had recently graduated in the University of Texas and one of which was also pregnant. Sarah Weddington was pregnant at the time the case went to the Supreme court. Normas child was conceive out of an affair that she had while married. The case was presented to the Supreme Court on December 1972 and ended in January 1973. The Court decided that Norma as well as all the other women had rights that were protected by the amendments 1,4,9 and 14 of the U. S. constitution. Although Roe went throught the entire process of the case ahe did not have the abortion due to the delaying of the courts decision. This case like many other cases has caused quite a controversy amongs religion and morals. To some abortion was seen as murder. To others it's a womens body therefore she's the only one who can say what to do with it. To be franc with you this book is not one easily appreciated by many due to there religious beliefs or what not. The truth is that a women has the right to say what or what not to do with her body , but then again when that womens body is choosing to end the life of another's. It's bound to get some critics. i would definitely reccomend this book to others. Especially those interested by politics. You see I am not for abortion. Sure Im for a womens right to choose , but I believe abortion is murder. I am planning to become a lawyer some day and as my profession I will be forced to aknowledge the facts and not my moral beliefs. There are just so many reasons why you should read this book. i mean the way its written is so easy and your able to comprehend what the book is actually trying to put out there.

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